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Author: Rhonda Mitchell

Exceptional on Jeffreys: Stanton Builders


Lockdown might have put pressure on timelines but nothing can dim the enthusiasm and experience of local home construction experts Stanton Builders.

 

 

Director Brent Stanton and his team are enjoying the challenge of bringing a current project in Jeffreys Road back on track after the enforced break.

“Every successful project is a collaboration of the designer, my staff and I, and subtrades and it’s always about quality work, no exceptions,” Brent says.

Designed by Keith Ussher Architecture, Brent’s focus on teamwork is the key to bringing the four bedroom two ensuite home to completion in time for its original handover date in November.

Clad in Rockcote Integra Panel and Vertical Cedar with tray roofing, Brent’s favourite feature of the home is the Hard As Rock feature stone wall.

“It’s massive and it looks fantastic.”

Specialising in architectural homes and restaurant fitouts (a recent favourite project is the interior of Chiwahwah Mexican Cantina Bar), the plan is to continue with more of the same type of work although Stanton Builders is very happy to work in the first-home side of the building market too.

“We love the challenge of bringing our quality work to the more cost-conscious homes as well, and we can do this because we are a small company, very flexible and the onsite team comprises of very experienced individuals


 

Architect’s own home entices: Sheppard and Rout


An architect’s owned-designed home becomes an expression of their beliefs and ideals, and this is especially true of the new home of Tim Dagg, Architect at Sheppard and Rout.

 

 

Tim and his family lived on site previously and, for Tim, the context of the site and orientation of the home are always key to the design.

This held true for his own build: the existing north-facing landscape with its mature native plantings, seated terrace and swimming pool have been retained.

With a school and railway line as neighbours, there is no danger of being built out, so Tim designed the entire north end of the house in glass to bring the gorgeous outlook inside.

Materials are low maintenance in natural and neutral hues.

The interior features polished concrete floors, a natural timber feature wall and a balustrade in natural mild steel. Black rubber covers the stair treads, with living room walls and ceiling lined with birch veneer.

Roof and exterior walls are clad in coloursteel, with some easy access areas in stretcher bond brick and in a light stained cedar.

“Our roofer was awarded Roofer of the Year at the Coloursteel Roofing Awards. The job required discussion between the foreman and me and the roofer, and his workmanship and expertise has produced an outstanding result.”

The glass wall is protected by a 1.5m roof overhang to reduce solar gain.

All downstairs doors and windows open fully, while skylights upstairs cross vent and naturally cool. “Energy efficient design is vital in a successful home,” Tim says.


 

Beachside Modernism: HMO Architects x Owens Building


Thoughtful and flexible additions to a 1950s mid-century home in Sumner, originally designed by architect Paul Pascoe, have earned Duval O’Neill and his team at Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects a place on the shortlist of the New Zealand Institute of Architects’ 2020 Regional Awards.

 

PHOTOS RUSSELL KLEYN

 

Understanding the eminence of Paul Pascoe (himself an NZIA Gold Medallist) in mid-century New Zealand architecture, the home owners knew they needed to find an exceptional architect who understood and appreciated modernist properties.

Hearing that Duval had his own mid-century home, they realised they wouldn’t do better and the finished property reflects the empathy of its designer with the principles of the modernist movement.

The small three-bedroom, one-bathroom house is now transformed into a much larger four-bedroom with ensuite and a new laundry, as well as a second living room that can double as a sleeping area.

The bedroom addition frames a new sheltered internal courtyard while also acting as the end point for the gallery link and a portal to the contained garden.

Central to Duval’s design concept is the rationalisation of circulation and entrance areas, retaining the long garden view as well as repeating the roofline and choosing materials which respected the essence of the original Pascoe design.

The addition features the same cedar boards, copper nails, door handles, recycled rimu flooring, window frames, eaves, interior and exterior colours, and overall proportions.

The HMOA team has ensured a clear division between adult space and the children’s bedrooms and play areas.

Owens Building partnered with HMOA on this special project and Director David Owens enjoyed both the clients’ and Duval’s commitment to the original architecture of the home.

Owens Building places a premium on integrity, ensuring every project represents its commitment to excellence.

“Our delivery style and our relationships with clients and designers is of utmost importance to us, and often leads to great friendships forming,” David says.

“Also, as enthusiasts of mid-century architecture ourselves, it was a joy to be part of the project team,” David says.

Owens Building relocated to Wanaka in 2016 and has since become involved in a number of projects involving passive house principles.

David and family are soon to move into a newly constructed home which incorporates these principles and elements of mid-century design, so offering the best of both worlds.


 

Nestled into the hillside: Hofmans Architect x MWH Construction


The seemingly unsolvable challenges of adjacent sites were the ultimate inspiration for NZIA shortlisted Hofmans Architects, when designing these two striking homes in their home village of Arrowtown.

 

 

Suitable for a family of five, each home makes the best of the uplifting views and embodies spatially efficient floor areas, while making a virtue of the site restraints.

The finished homes are not simply a visually pleasing counterpoint to an iconic landscape, but express virtuosity in design as well. The very steep slope has a no-build line as the top two-thirds of the site, a schist seam running through the middle of the site and a tight five metre maximum height plane.

These factors demanded an efficient design set within the lower portion of both sites.

The usual 4m separation was successfully reduced to 2m, which allowed the houses to sit independently of each other whilst increasing the buildable area.

By tilting the side wall and dropping the roof pitch of one property, this allowed the other to achieve good winter sun.

“We are always inspired by our local environment and like to use natural materials that sit well in our surroundings,” Director Maarten Hofmans says.

“The Chinese miners were masters in using local materials that came to hand and creating shelter in an efficient as possible form – something that we have drawn inspiration from. We strive to achieve simple and easily understood solutions. These homes are two simple sculpted shaped forms that nestle into the hillside.”

Corten clads the firewood storage walls and folded cedar wraps the forms, while pushed in recesses define the entry points.

MWH Construction brought the designs to reality and Maarten says, “It was a pleasure to work with MWH, their enthusiasm for a well-executed product always makes us happy as Architects”.

Director of MWH, Myles Herschell says, “the aesthetic of this project was a real drawcard for our team – the houses resemble folded cedar origami. Also, the opportunity to work with Hofmans Architects: their creativity, receptiveness to change and solutions is always a pleasure.”

The philosophy at MWH is to push boundaries, reinterpret styles and challenge notions of what construction can be. Transparency, adaptability, teamwork plus Myles’ own design degree enable MWH to work at the boundaries of architectural inspiration.

 


 

Exceptional on the estuary: MCAS x Ethos Homes


International award-winning architect, Max Capocaccia of MCAS understands that buildings shape us as much as we shape them.

 

Max’s aesthetic results in buildings that not only generate emotion, but perform as the healthiest environment possible for those who dwell in them.

His Rockinghorse Road project encapsulates this holistic approach: attention to detail has produced a home that performs to a very high standard, is energy efficient and does not require heating during winter.

An enhanced timber frame utilises thicker timber and an airtight membrane with interior service cavities to reduce thermal bridging and achieve airtightness and provide well above standard thermal performance and triple-glazed windows are a feature.

Clad in a combination of macrocarpa vertical timber board, and batten and shiplap profile, the three distinct volumes within the home are simple in their shapes, but the subtle complexity of Max’s design means the house marries with its natural setting at sea level on the estuary.

“The main idea was to minimise the visual scale of the building through fragmenting mass,” Max says.

The flood prone situation next to the estuary needed a solution and Max responded to the challenge by creating a small hill as a base for the second volume, with each volume connected by a bridge, smaller in scale, this volume includes the entrance.

“I love the way the three volumes relate to each other, it is a real accomplishment of creativity meeting context,” Max says.

Peter Bielski Managing Director of Ethos homes built the house.

“He was thorough the whole way and communication was clear – it was good to talk through issues on site,” Max adds.

Peter says, “working with Max was a good fit: his design was stunning and building high-performance homes is our forté”.

Ethos Homes was born of a desire to bring Peter’s experience of German high-performance homes to the market.

“Healthy, sustainable homes enhance the lives of those that live in them,” Peter says.

Recognised as Certified Passive House experts in Canterbury, all Ethos projects are blower door tested for airtightness.

“We are passionate that every build provides the best in energy efficiency, health, comfort, and sustainability,” Peter says. “I put my integrity on the line for every home we build.”


 

Collaborative Luxury


CoLab Architecture proved itself the superlative choice to design the three luxury homes on the stunning site vacated by historic Parkdale. CoLab Director Tobin Smith designed styles complementary to the outcomes the developers sought for this very distinct niche and, as the name over the door suggests, collaborative work is a specialty.

 

 

The Heaton street frontage forms part of the city’s character assessment area.

Tobin wanted to keep the scale of the original homes in the area but not replicate them.

“CoLab is creating a new heritage that we hope will still be celebrated in 100 years’ time,” Tobin says.

“We have a style that is becoming recognisable and you can see it particularly in the rear house with its strong gable forms that are part of the illustrious Christchurch school of architecture. Brick cladding honours the original homestead, it is soft and in keeping with the area.”

Each home is distinct: “Resorting to three identical builds for efficiency’s sake was never contemplated,” Tobin says.

“The site and the community deserved the best in design and construction.”

Each home does however have a generous envelope, with the beautiful stream and surrounds as the focus.

“The art of it was the design and position to maximise privacy and outlook.”

Takahe Construction led on bringing the homes to life.

“They brought a proven track record to the project and there is such strength in collaboration. There was incredibly valuable feedback going back and forth between us as we put the houses together – it creates a learning environment all around,” Tobin says.

“The level of finish achieved in these homes and the quality craftsmanship are second to none.”

Tim Forman of Takahe says, “In partnership with CoLab, the team at Takahe and its subcontractors were driven by quality throughout these builds, with a clear understanding of CoLab’s vision. It’s been a real pleasure to work with such a positive and encouraging team.

“The architecture was challenging and extremely detailed and, by all accounts, an incredible experience to bring this to life. V grooved cathedral ceilings with clean negative details are a real feature that continue throughout the form of the houses,” Tim says.


 

Let’s talk architectural builds: David Magill Builders


New landmarks are rising in central Christchurch on a satisfyingly regular basis and the latest building to catch our eye will break ground before Christmas.

 

 

Built by David Magill Builders, this three-story home on the corner of Cranmer Square and Chester Street West will be a milestone on your journey north across the city, planting its roots and taking its place in the 170-year history of Cranmer Square.

In fact, we can look forward to a long future association with this home – its foundation comprises piling down to 16 metres, with a raft floor laid on top of that, and a comprehensive structural steel superstructure by Blueprint Consulting Engineers. The striking silhouette created by the semi-rooved deck on the top floor is complemented by the unusual charred cedar cladding. Originally a Japanese technique, the charring is done by Christchurch-based company Chartek. Once sealed the blackened wood weathers, but does not require the maintenance that ordinary cedar does.

 

The owners of the home are current inner-city dwellers who are keen supporters of a thriving centre and love the CBD lifestyle. Architect Kelly Rush of Krush Architecture has designed a clever home where owners and guests can operate independently if they choose.

The top floor hosts the master bed, ensuite and wardrobe and opens out to the partly covered deck. The middle floor contains the kitchen, lounge and living area plus another deck, while the ground floor is dedicated to three bedrooms, each with their own bathroom.

Director of David Magill Craig Freeman says completing this home will take 12 months, as it’s an interesting design located in a busy area which impacts on access. “This build is right in our ball park – all of our buildings have a degree of difficulty, whether that be design, location, client, or sometimes all three, and we are very comfortable with that.”

 

Craig assumed ownership of the company on the retirement of David Magill in 2016. Dedicated to continuing the values that David instilled in him and the rest of the team, Craig says, “Everyone has been together for a long time, including our subcontractors. The mission has always been to be well-respected among our peers, and we are so proud that no-one ever has a bad word to say about us.”

Craig brings a unique and desirable skill set to his role. In a previous life he served the country in the New Zealand Army. Discipline in all areas is innate to his approach, while communication with people is a real strength. “I can talk with anyone, and zero in on what is important to them.”

His training brings an incredibly valuable agility to a project. “We are not stuck in any comfort zone or set routine, so we react quickly and positively to any road block.”

 

Craig places a lot of emphasis on being proactive, rather than reactive. “It buys us a lot of time.”

Every job is worked on by in-house carpenters. “It is vital that their trade and craftsmanship is top notch”. The company works with contactors that they have had a relationship with for several years. “I went through my apprenticeship with a lot of the people who are now leading the companies that we work with,” Craig says.

David Magill Builders happily runs a gamut of homes from $2 million to first home and retirement homes, with five house and land packages becoming available at Ravenswood for $500k, and an entry-level show home at Ravenswood open next year. “What our clients have in common is that they want well-designed, bespoke and interesting homes but with value for money. They seek top-quality products but not necessarily the designer label on them,” Craig says. “And you shouldn’t have to compromise on your quality, your tradespeople, design or the interest on a modest budget.”

 

Driven by a determination to do a good job and honour all promises made to clients, Craig cannot understand why anyone would take the ‘over-promise under-deliver’ approach. He ensures his team go out of their way to hit targets and do a great job. “Regardless of size or price, in 20-50 years, I want people to say ‘who built this incredibly well-constructed home?’”

Visit www.davidmagill.co.nz.

 

 


 

A Home with Hygge: Fleetwood Construction


If the Danish term ‘hygge’ is defined as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing, this Gold Award-winning home built by Fleetwood Construction has it, well, in bucketloads.

 

 

The home – a happy collaboration between the homeowners, Matt Gutsell of Sheppard and Rout Architects, and Fleetwood Construction – is the fourth Gold Award win in the Master Builders House of the Year competitions for Directors Sam and Charlotte Fleetwood, and is amongst the top 100 in New Zealand to get a Gold Reserve Award, putting it in the national finals for the competition later this year.

While it helps that one of the owners hails from Denmark, this home’s innate hygge is a reflection of the couple’s passion for the home and their detailed design choices, which included bringing light fittings back from Denmark. Feelings of home, comfort and welcome are encapsulated in the setting, exterior, and interior of the Governors Bay split-level design.

With the house as the stage, the view down Lyttelton Harbour to the heads leads a starry cast of features. “Matt did an amazing job of designing the home and maximising the view,” Sam says.

 

A stunning slender veranda acting as both viewing platform and outdoor hallway is fitted with attractive vertical metal privacy panels on rollers. “They look like a design feature but are actually practical for shade and wind protection,” Sam says.

The custom-made floating staircase leads you to the entrance of the home and in to the combined kitchen living area which reveals the amazing view. The chic kitchen shows great attention to detail and is a perfect design fit for the style of the home. “The island bench in matte black with a slim stainless steel bench top and modular detailing really draws you in, the hygge is here,” Sam says.

Sleek floor to ceiling sliding doors frame the living rooms’ view and again in the master bedroom, “you just don’t want to leave”.

Sam says skilled hill-builders Fleetwood Construction loves building architectural homes. “The team loves the attention to detail and craftmanship required.”

 

With Sam onsite every day overseeing the details, any challenges run smoothly and it gives clients confidence and the great service they deserve. “This home had eight different types of foundations and retaining walls, a 22-metre long steel frame and a 4.6-metre precast concrete panel, which all had to be fitted with precision. The access to the site made this challenging but the team totally nailed it. It was great to have this hard work and craftmanship recognised at the awards.”

With plenty of architectural masterpieces in the pipeline, Fleetwood Construction is looking forward to next year’s competition. “We work hard everyday to create Christchurch’s most personalised building experience.”

 


 

Helping grow your wealth: Alistair Bean and Associates


“I make investment decisions so you don’t have to,” says Alistair Bean of Alistair Bean and Associates – Financial Advisers. Alistair understands you want top-performing investments, but you’ve got better things to do than be hands-on managing your investments every day.

 

ALISTAIR BEAN & VICTORIA GIRVAN

 

While Alistair is an overachiever professionally, with 37 years’ experience and a proven record of great success, discretion and confidentiality a given, he’s certainly not a one-dimensional, dry as dust money-man. He’s a member of the Canterbury Board for Financial Advisers New Zealand, and even noted as achieving significant results that far exceed client expectations.

A keen member of Showbiz Christchurch since the age of 18, he’s directed for Riccarton Players, had TV appearances, performed on McPhail and Gadsby, and he’s a veteran of treading the boards. Alistair says, “this is a relationship business and I just happen to manage clients’ money”. Alistair loves hearing clients’ life stories, meeting their family and tailoring a bespoke investment portfolio. “I do what I do to help people grow their wealth so that they can realise their dreams too.”

With clients New Zealand-wide, Alistair is one of just six to offer personalised discretionary investment management services, which means making decisions for you so you don’t have to, plus he was first to receive this status from the Government. Demand is high, with few financial services specialising in seeing clients face-to-face.

“I provide the very opposite of the standard class management system where you join a group and all receive the same investment at the same percentage. I keep my client numbers low in order to be able to do one-on-one service, and I treat individuals as individuals – connecting their financial investments to their needs,” says Alistair.

Alistair’s staggering record of success provides the opportunity to add great value to your nest eggs, plus in his company you just can’t help but get interested in investing. He looks after private personal clients who need assistance with the management of their wealth for the short, medium and longer-term. “I’ll manage your personal investments, your KiwiSaver, and your personal insurances.”

While a typical day sees him investing private personal wealth for high net worth clients and their families, Alistair enjoys helping those wanting to move away from minimal returns of bank term deposits and the hassle of being a residential landlord, and towards the opportunity for big returns from domestic and international markets. “If low returns have left you a bit stuck, I can certainly help to change that.”

“Modern finance technology allows for very easy offshore investing where you might get a great percentage return. Volatility in international politics is providing Kiwis the chance to buy low and sell high, while domestically investing in equities contributes to the wealth of the nation by helping companies grow. Many local investments are not scary – examples such as utility and rest home companies provide likely good dividends,” Alistair says.

Investment decisions are fully researched – Alistair travels internationally visiting boardrooms and attending conferences to allow for this. Clients can access their records 24/7, while Alistair can run your investments when both he and you are anywhere in the world. “Don’t be scared to seek financial advice, it will give you the opportunities to exceed your expectations.”

Phone Alistair on (ChCh) 03 288 0404 (ext 1404) or 021 552 587.


 

A Talent for Tailoring: The Gentleman’s Tailoress


We are a tribe, us clothes people, with our passion for design, feel for textiles and eagle eye for detail.

 

Our clothes have to fit, and fit perfectly, or they simply won’t do. Thankfully, our local High Priestess of the tape measure, Megan Wolfrey, has established her own men’s and women’s garment alteration service – The Gentleman’s Tailoress.  Megan completed her apprenticeship at iconic firm Austin Brown and her 35 years in the trade includes nine years specialising in men’s bespoke suiting where she made it her business to know everything in tailoring. Second generation in the trade, Megan’s mother was a sewing teacher and tailoress, and Megan was born to follow in her footsteps. “I just love it and it’s all I know,” she says.

Altering men’s tailoring is a particular favourite, “but I enjoy alterations for both men and women”. Megan loves the pure satisfaction on people’s faces when they see themselves in a piece that fits well. “They arrive in despair sometimes and leave feeling a million dollars when they are fitted correctly.”  While New Zealand’s pre-eminent men’s suiting company relies on Megan for their alterations, there is nothing she won’t turn her hand to – cushion covers, zips, turning up hems and even sewing on buttons if you just can’t bear to. “I just love what I do. I am a people person and I love working with good quality. A good quality cloth leads to a fantastic end result.”

Find Megan at www.tailoress.nz.